Ben Gunning

Ben Gunning

BandPopJazz

Rhythm-heavy and modern music by ex-Local Rabbit singer/guitarist Ben Gunning. Rooted in songwriting, the music is lyrically, compositionally and instrumentally ambitious and unique, drawing from diverse genres : jazz, R&B and progressive rock. It is conceived and presented with care and effort.

Biography

Beigy Blur (Zunior/March 2005), the solo debut by singer/songwriter/guitarist Ben Gunning (ex-Local Rabbits), is born of a fiercely independent vision and approach: that singer/songwriting can only remain a vibrant part of pop culture if it contends modern sounds and modern themes. His new material, a logical evolution of his contribution in Local Rabbits, is lyrically and musically ambitious and challenging. It is rhythm-heavy and contemporary, bringing elements of jazz, new R&B, and progressive rock together to support songs that explore modern tribulations of individuality, technology, division of labour, competition, and so forth with sympathy, frustration and humour.  Having mentioned all that, it also has a good beat. He has begun performing with a 3, 4, 5, and 6 piece band in and around Ontario in anticipation of the album.

Ben Gunning, now living in Toronto, Canada, is a founding member and has been the principle composer/singer of the band Local Rabbits since 1992, recording four records with the group. Local Rabbits toured across Canada and the United States multiple times, including on the Edgefest ‘98 tour as well as with such groups as Sloan, Thrush Hermit, The Rheostatics, The Superfriendz, The Inbreds, Flashing Lights, Six Finger Satellite, Zumpano, and Kelly Deal 6000. Thanks to ten years of rigorous touring and persistence through prolonged periods of economic difficulty, Local Rabbits established themselves as a powerful cult band, earning both critical and popular acclaim among listeners and peers alike. Each of their LPs ranked within the top ten on the Canadian College Radio Charts. Basic Concept stayed at number one for four consecutive weeks soon after its release. Some highlights of the Local Rabbits’ career include backing up MC Maestro (Fresh Wes) at the International Music Day in 2000 and being chosen for a number of exclusive CBC Radio recording sessions and live broadcasts.

In addition to songwriting and playing lead guitar on the Local Rabbits’ albums, he has contributed to albums by the Rheostatics, Neko Case and Thrush Hermit. Ben co-wrote “Set Out Running”, the opening track on Neko Case’s acclaimed album Furnaceroom Lullaby and toured with her as a member of her ever-alternating “Boyfriends” including dates on the 1998 Lilith Fair tour.  He also worked extensively over the past two years as a composer/producer with Alanna Stuart, an up and coming R&B singer from Toronto/Ottawa. He will be reaching various Canadian cities in the fall in support of the Beigy Blur.

Lyrics

Drinks

Written By: Ben Gunning

Drink one goes down pretty quickly
Our stomachs getting tickly with things to come
Drink two we’ll turn up the volume
And scrape off the night for run
Drink three is traveling through our veins
Massaging our tight brains with hands of relief
Drink four will pull out the splinters
Of critical thought and grief

CH But it’s one more ‘til we’re there

Drink five gives us Santa Clause vigour
Our voices are bigger and our laughs are strong
Drink six don’t we feel together
It’s a tougher than leather bond
Drink seven well we teeter and we fumble
And we wobble and we stumble but we’re feeling true
Drink eight we’re spitting out fragments
Of theories that aren’t baked through

CH

Drink nine left our bodies behind us
Thought our minds wouldn’t find us but they’ll catch up
Drink ten well we’re passed out, spinning
Or regretting as we’re throwing up

You Can't Charm Me

Written By: Ben Gunning

You can tee hee sweetly, touch my hand,
And bat your lashes at me like mad
But understand I won’t be had
‘Cause you can’t charm me
So all those moves you can retire
‘Cause I don’t want your feigned desire
A man is thrilled to feel admired
But you can’t charm me

CH
You can’t charm me
So let me be
I’ve stepped back and watched the scene
And I know where this will lead

You sprinkle charm around your feet
Where every fool will surely meet
And every ego needs to eat
But you can’t charm me
‘Cause I won’t join the faceless clan
Who follow you with grapes and fans
I’m gonna treat you like a man
‘Cause you can’t charm me

CH(3)

It’s nowhere this will lead

The Deep Dark Blue

Written By: Ben Gunning

Long, brisk strides into still and slapping air
I comb for a colour that might be there
With a love and hate ballooning in my chest
For these sidewalkers on their night time quests
Contract and then relax again, we pass
A look of disgust or camaraderie cast
I keep my body separate as I steer it through
The lines below this deep, dark, open blue
The clear and cutting coloured neon promise something new

The truest beauty’s in the deep dark blue above, you see
But still I chase these colours around
It is a union of distilled and endless love
And still I hope to meet a colour unfound
The deep dark canopy suggests that we should go to sleep
But I don’t want to go to sleep now

This street’s been hit with a plague of the banal
And some of its walkers don’t mind somehow
While others do emit a watery resist
With funky hats or studs around their wrists
We all know that no accessory
Can save us from this anonymity
But I too kick and claw for some identity
From foaming tubs brimmed with humility
And run we may but we’ll all run into a humbling sea

The deep dark blue of sea is black to fearful eyes, you see
And so we chase these colours around
We hunch at palettes or we crack paint cans so desperately
In hopes of meeting colours unfound
But we won’t mix it right or find it if we search all night
Still no one out here wants to sleep now

The deep dark blue about has filled us up with fear and doubt
And so we chase these colours around
The ones who’ve got it right are napping sound and still tonight
Without a thought of colours unfound
So let’s all hit the sheets, we’ll all lay back and all get free
And all join at a place with never any you or me
As one amidst the deep dark blue now

Discography

Beigy Blur (2005, Zunior)

Set List

Set List:
The Beauty of God
Drinks
The Rapidy Stream
You Can't Charm Me
We're Gonna Live
Oh Rebel
Help Me Through The Night
Why Can't I Leave Myself At Home?
Compromise
The Deep Dark Blue

Total time: 1 set of about 1 hour depending on solos

NO COVER SONGS